- Ian Wilson - vocals
- Nick Price - bass
- Tommy Volume - guitar
- Joey Valentine - drums
On the weekend of February 28th and 29th, 2002, opening for Suicide and Sleater-Kinney, they drew worldwide attention when their two-night Yank Fest at the Foster Light Omni-Drome, Hobart, Tasmania, established an arena-rock attendance record of 407,893--nearly doubling the previous mark set by Foghat, Journey and Linda Ronstadt at the Hartford Civic in 1978.
Poised on the brink of ooo-pa-doo, ool-ya-koo and rama-lama-fah-fah-fah-fah-FAH-fah, the "Spangles," as they're affectionately known, believe in music's power to heal as well as kill.
Four amazing musicians…four amazing tales. May their banner wave!
Though mute at birth, and suffering an array of ear, nose and throat ailments through age 17, vocalist Ian Wilson has finally "found his voice"…and then some.
A man of many words, and many thoughts, he shares his wisdom in frank,nifty doses, posted daily on his phone machine. And here's today's: "It goes against my religion: "None. "What is "belief"? "Belief is BLIND OBEDIENCE.
"Better to be blind – eyeless! – in the middle of an ocean than blindly obedient to the dogma of any known theistic persuasion. "I do not believe in the existence of anything as absurd as a 'soul,' but absolute, witless submission would be the DEATH of the soul, were there in fact (or fancy) such an entity in some hypothetical firmament. "There is NO enduring the surrender of one's rational faculties, or one's uniquely personal irrational faculties: NO SALVATION in giving the lie to ultimate truths of one's own mind and heart." Way to go, Ian!
It's not often that an artist comes along with credentials as sound as those of the Spangles' Tommy Volume:
Rhythm guitar for Peace Parking Lot, Love Reaction, Dogs Not Cats, Dewey Defeats Truman, and the vastly underrated Spanky & Jekyll…lead axe for Port-a-Pod and Weasel Quim...session work on Dylan's collaboration with Thelonious Monk, Cots for Sleeping Six Abreast, including the classic "Who Needs Porkpies? You Need Porkpies"…ghosted Big Bigelow's tracks on nine Nirvana albums (in other words, he was Big Bigelow!)…emerged as a 6-stringer in his own right with So You Think You Know Cheese – remember their album cover? (a gouda, a brie, and 40 cubes of Laughing Cow)…three years of side trips on the coffee house circuit, featuring acoustic improvs on his custom-built Stratocaster Seven Seas aluminum hollow-body.
Hailed by Guitar Player as "One awesome motherhumping s.o.b.," Tommy is indeed The Man on strings.
Bassist Nick Price is known far & wide as a world-class gourmet cook. Perhaps his most famous creation is the GRILLED OLIVE-TRIPE-TONGUE SANDWICH:
1 cup grated American cheese 1/4 cup chopped ripe olives 1/4 cup shredded boiled tripe 1/4 cup diced boiled beef tongue 2 tablespoons chopped pimento 2 teaspoons prepared mustard I teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup whipped butter 16 slices enriched white bread
Combine cheese, olives, tripe, tongue, pimento, mustard, pepper and salt.. Butter one side of each bread slice. Spread 8 slices with olive-tripe-tongue-cheese filling. Top each with matching slice, buttered side down. Butter outside of each sandwich. Grill on low heat in sandwich grill for 4 minutes, or on griddle until brown on both sides.
Drummer Joey Valentine is the final answer (and what an answer!) to the multi-part trivia question: Have any rock-rollers attended one or more semesters of college or university, and what, if any, were their degrees and majors?
A grand total of seven, dig it, have given it the old college "try," but failed to make it to the finish line: Jim Morrison (Pacific Suburban University, one semester, phys. ed.); Jerry Garcia (Palo Alto City College, two semesters, paleontolgy); Marilyn Manson (University of Newark, two semesters, history of television); Bootsy Collins (London School of Economics, three semesters, undecided); Dick Dale (South Dakota Eucharist, four semesters, Indo-European languages); Janis Joplin (Paloma Loma, West Virginia, College of Art, six semesters, acrylic studies); David Byrne (Guatemala Poly, seven-plus semesters, numismatics – dropped out three credits shy of a diploma).
As we slog through the Big Beat's fifth decade, only ONE rock-roller has graduated from a school of higher learning: Joseph Henry "Joey" Valentine, who this past June received a B of S in hydronautic engineering from Indiana Cow College…wow…and you probably thought it COULDN'T BE DONE!
What's NEW with the Star Spangles? Hey…glad you asked!
'Which of the Two of Us Is Gonna Burn This House Down?' (b/w "Stain Glass Shoes"), their debut single for the Parlophone label, released Dec 2nd, has been certified double platinum in both the U.S. and the U.K., and triple molybdenum (Western Canada's standard of metallic excellence – the leading export after hawk down and elk fat – equal to 100,000 product units) in Alberta and Saskatchewan. It has meanwhile been voted "The Greatest Single Since 'Brown Sugar'" by a panel of 200 experts at Mojo, with French critic Claude Bessy calling it "un classique instantané (an instant classic)"…cookin' out!
IN THE CAN – The Spangles have completed final mixes on a dozen tunes written especially for the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese's remake of King Kong, starring Porfirio Rubirosa, Mel Gibson and Drew Barrymore, in her first role since she got the face lift. Word has it the rockin' ballad "Kong 13, Elvis 0" is a pisser.
When Eric Clapton, stricken with psoriasis, was unable to complete his Asia-Pacific tour, Nick Price got the call, filling in for the British blues legend on dates in Fiji, Java, New Guinea and Eniwetok. "People tend to forget that before I played bass I was a fair to middlin' guitarist…I'm glad Eric remembered."
Tabbed by the Trashmen to "testify" at their induction in the R*o*c*k a*n*d R*o*l*l H*a*l*l o*f F*a*m*e, Tommy Volume put the great band's long-overdue acceptance in perspective: "'Louie Louie' gets all the credit, but without 'Surfin' Bird,' where would any of us be?" (I'd hate to have to answer that one.)
Speaking of honors, Joey Valentine's high school fife & drum coach, Steamort Sutz, a casualty in the World Trade Center tragedy, was posthumously awarded the prestigious Hoppenploptop Medal by the Pasta Fazool Society of Beverly Hills. "People think I got it all from Keith Moon and Mickey Hart," sez Joey, "but everything I know about tom-toms I learned from Steamort. He will be sorely missed."
PASTIME OR PASSION? Ian Wilson is undecided on whether to proceed with boxing as a second career. Since the start of the year he's had 7 professional fights, winning 3 and losing 4:
Jan. 7 – Eduardo Gaffney (Hartford), KO 3 Feb. 14 – Tui Toia (Boston), KO by 2 May 12 – Dean Storyville (Portland, Maine), W 4 June 3 – Prince Pudding (Atlantic City), L 4 June 26 – Cletis Truesdale (Youngstown, Ohio), KO 1 July 6 – Atlelea Kaihea (Cleveland), KO by 3 Sept. 13 – Shane Vulva (Upper Marlboro, Maryland), L 6
Before you yell for him to throw in the towel, keep in mind that many at ringside believe he should've got the nod in the Pudding and Vulva fights, losing both as the result of hometown decisions. Had Ian copped those two, his record would now stand at 5-2.
DIDJA KNOW DEPT. – Did you know that before they were the Star Spangles, our foursome were known briefly as the Matriots? "That's patriot with an M instead of a P," 'splains Spangles manager Ferdinand (Duke) Duvall, "the mom as opposed to the pop version of national loyalty. It was a made-up word expressing our personal view that this country would be better served by a committee of mothers picked at random from the Keokuk white pages." Better, you mean, than by the drooling beast currently serving as figurehead of our so-called republic? "Yes…exactly."
The Matriots (right on), and before that they played some dates as Womba the Jungle Boy; and 'fore that, Portuguese Whores of Dawn; and originally, in their earliest incarnation: the Gugs. As Casey Stengel once said, you could look it up!
NOT A COVER BAND? Think again. Throughout the Spangles' Labor Day weekend at the Hoss Hide Corral (Rhinebeck, New Jersey), their set list included "Something Better Beginning" by the Kinks, "Undercover Angel" by Sahib Shihab, "Pied Piper" by Crispian St. Peters, "The Breeze and I" by the Doberman Gang, and "Bop a Lop Lop" by the Chinese Tops…the hottest that tune has sounded in years.
Starting this month, everything will begin with S.
Dirt will begin with S. Radishes will begin with S. Destiny, prosthetics and flotation will all begin with S.
Big walnuts yonder will begin with S. Days darker than your nights will begin with S. High as a kite, bald as a beet will begin with S. Walled city fresh pecks will begin with S.
Come go cease desist tumid bodies implode will begin with S. A fatal jackoff on the moon will begin with S. Hop pop plop bebop will begin with S. In-a-gadda-da-vida will begin with S.
The 19th through 26th featherweight champions will begin with S. Westward ho the beeswax will begin with S. Fix o'clock in the morning will begin with S.
The STAR SPANGLES will still begin with S.
New members! Replacing vocalist Donald "Don't Call Me Donnie" Osmond, who died this past October 9th, is Grammy nominee Ian Wilson, who for six years plied his pipes for the legendary Northwest "experimental" band Smegma.
Also from Smegma comes the fleet, six-fingered Tommy Volume ("Snakiest Guitar in the West"), ready and willing to fill the boots of Spangles founder Hector Cassanova, made vacant by Hector's 40-to-life sentence for the ax murder of singer Don Osmond.
"The double tragedy certainly knocked us for a loop," says drummer Joey Valentine, "but all in all, it's probably made us tighter as a group. Donnie and Hector's squabbling was definitely a downer. Personally and musically, we've never been more together than these last few months."
Practicing 16 hours a day to get back up to speed, the Spangles promise to be "hot freaking thunder" come February 10th, when they play the NME Awards at London's famed Astoria, along with Hell Is for Heroes, the Bellrays, Saves the Day, and the Mamas and the Papas.
As to the homicide itself, now fortunately behind them, manager Duke Duvall puts it in perspective: "Hey, rock happens." (How true, how true.)
A GIFT THAT WILL KEEP ON GIVING – With mayor Michael Bloomberg present at the bequeathal ceremony, the N.Y. Public Library became the recipient of Nick Price's world-class collection of rare fifties smut mags. "I could've held onto them awhile," says the Spangles' bass man, "or stashed them away for my grandchildren. Hell, I could've sold them on eBay for big bucks. But it sure felt super-dupe to give something back to this great city – to allow readers and scholars access right now to a treasure trove of classic writings and pix."
Titles include: Aphrodite, Squaw, Spreader, Nudies & Cuteys, In 'n' Out, Rear Window, Nippy, Say Cheese!, Bound and Wet, Pix-4-U, Gal, Eff, The Thrill of It All, Bearded Clam, Made in Paris, Hooer, Muffs Ahoy, Corset & Garter, Wolf Whistle, Throb, Nekkid, Hot Mattress, Lez Be Lovers, T's if You Please, Sexcapade, Leave It to Beaver, Bottoms Up, Cleavage and Panties, Potty, Pudding, Peeper, Dog Style, Illicit Carnal College Girls, Sick, Perv, Debauch, By Cracky, In the Raw, Anal Stewardess, Iron Curtain Cherry Popping Sweeties, Tail of Two Cities, Antsy Pants, Redwing, Lady Godiva Illustrated, Poozle, Trojan, Cop Sluts in Uniform, Gam and Hickey, Bazoom, Thatch, Hoof and Hind, Falsies 42, Beatnik Chicks in Heat, My Favorite Nympho, Ginch, Money Honey, Beach Bunny Bare-Ass, Mmmm Boy!, Box Lunch, Duff Capers, Natural Blondes au Natural, Dildo Party, Thigh & Tushy, Hair Pie, Yoni, Teen-Age Butt Frolic, and The Lady Doctor Underwear Annual (1952-59, complete).
For aficionados of that newest techno marvel the "compact disc," the Star Spangles are proud to announce that on March 31st their latest Parlophone/U.K. single, 'Stay Away from Me', will be released in both CD and limited-edition 7" vinyl formats. The B-side of each will be a jam-up reading of P.F. Sloan's "The Sins of a Family Fall on the Daughter," recorded live at the Fillmore East, plus the CD (with all that extra room) will include the live version of the previous Spangles A-side, "Which of the Two of Us Is Gonna Burn This House Down."
Based on rate of sales (2,002,000 – a limited pressing of 2002 X 1000 – in less than an hour), the original release of "Which of the Two of Us" was certified Seven Incher of the Year (U.K. '02), as well as Murray the K's #1 for the Twenty-First Century.
Biography from Thestarspangles.com